Amuse Bouche - Spheres of yoghurt, honey, poppy seeds and black pepper topped with walnut. With a popping strawberry dry shot.
This is an exciting, entertaining little dish I created to be served either before a starter or as part of a tasting menu. It’s a really great tasting, punchy and fun morsel, and an Amuse Bouche is the perfect place in a meal to have abit of fun and tantalize your guests for the delights to come, aswell as setting the tone for the evening and getting people excited about the food. This dish does that by giving you a series of distinct but complimentary flavours, textures and sensations all in a just a mouthful, finishing with a flourish with the popping dry shot.
Here I’ve used reverse spherification to form spheres of flavoured yoghurt which burst in the mouth to release their flavour. Paired with a fizzing, popping ‘dry shot’, in which the intense flavour of dehydrated strawberries is amplified by the fun, crackling, fizzy pop rocks, which always get a great reaction.
I’m also chuffed to put this recipe up finally as its one I’ve demonstrated a couple of times and is more representative of my cooking style than some of the more traditional recipes I’ve got up here. Its still a simple dish to make and really does taste great, well worth having a go at, or even just try having fresh strawberries with the yoghurt mix on a sunny day as a snack.
First off for the Yogurt reverse Spherification prepare a bath of sodium alginate (which is derived from seaweed).
Sodium Alginate bath –
2.5g Sodium Alginate (available from www.Modernist-Chef.com)
500ml of Water
Blitz the Sodium alginate with the water using an immersion blender to combine. Leave to chill and settle in fridge for ten minuits before using
Yogurt mix –
200g Natural Greek Yoghurt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
3 teaspoons blue poppy seeds –
Mix together all the ingredients in a bowl and stir well. Now carefully drop teaspoons of the yoghurt mix into the Sodium Alginate solution (ideally using a dropping spoon) and leave it for a few seconds to ‘cook’ (react). A very fine film will form on the outside of the spoonfuls of yogurt mix, which will hold their shape but most importantly give the cool effect that they burst in your mouth when eaten. Remove the spheres from the Alginate bath with a slotted spoon and pace in a bowl of fresh cold water to reserve until needed. Remove from the fresh water with a slotted spoon when ready to serve.
Strawberry Dry shot -
500g fresh strawberries
Neutral flavoured pop rocks
Pinch ground ginger
First dehydrate extremely thin slices of strawberry in a dehydrator at 50c for 6 hours. Alternately place thin slices of strawberry on a baking sheet in the bottom your oven on its lowest possible temperature setting. Leave to dry out for a couple of hours, checking every so often until the strawberry slices are crisp and semi transparent.
Now roughly chop the dehydrated strawberries into shards. Then to make the dry shot, simply mix two tablespoons of the dried strawberry pieces with two tablespoons of the poprocks and a tiny pinch of ground ginger for a tiny hint of heat and a little of its aromatic freshness.
Now for the finishing touch to the dish simply crush up some walnuts.
Now to put it all together, place a teaspoon of the strawberry dry shot mix into a shot glass. Place a sphere of yoghurt on a teaspoon, and delicately balance the teaspoon on top of the shot glass. And finally top the yoghurt sphere with a pinch of crushed walnut.
Sodium Alginate and Poprocks available from -